I'm over 18 and have grown accustomed to making my own decisions. I have an amazing mentor and sounding board in Rhonda Shasteen to help guide me through my career and life choices, and I turn to others on my personal board of directors to help me make more pivotal decisions. Although most of the time advice comes by request, it sometimes comes unsolicited from people who love me.
Since we're human and aren't perfect, including our decision making skills, we can sometimes make bad decisions. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say, "I never make bad choices." Bad decisions teach us life lessons and grow our wisdom. However much we learn from poor choices, I think we'd all agree that they are best avoided in the first place along with the drama and hurt that generally go along with them.
Sometimes I've been in route to a poor choice, and the people who care about me tell me I should think again before choosing that path. Is it interference or love? It is my life and my decision after all. If the unsolicited advice comes from a trusted source like a close friend, mentor, or family member, it is coming out of love. The love may feel tough, but there's nothing wrong with tough love sometimes. Often we come to our senses after experiencing tough love and see what the true intentions weren't to torture you and make your life miserable, but to challenge your perspective and help you open your eyes.
We can react to receiving unsolicited input in a few ways:
1. Defensiveness: We can be defensive out of certainty of a choice. We can be so positive about an unwise move. When I receive this input, I try to let the input rest for a while until the emotions are gone and I can think more clearly about it.
Argumentativeness: After being defensive, we want to argue the case for why you are doing what you are doing. Arguing isn't always nice, but the debate can give lots of food for thought.
Reasoning & Logic: After taking time to think about the feedback, it becomes easier to approach the situation with some reason and logic. Rationality happens when the clouds separate and the sun comes shining through with and "ah-ha moment" about what you didn't see.
It takes a lot of guts to change your paradigm of a situation. It takes humility to listen to things you don't necessarily want to hear and really listen. It can hurt and prompt you to make decisions to change your course that requires courage on top of it all. It's hard to shift gears mid-course, but with an open mind and some self-awareness, taking and applying the feedback from loved ones is possible. In the end you'll grow stronger and wiser and increase your faith that it's all for the best. Please trust the insights of the people who love you and make changes when you need to. You can!